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Help make a new album from the troubadour with the face of a villain but the heart of a vaudevillian.
Help make a new album from the troubadour with the face of a villain but the heart of a vaudevillian.
195 backers pledged $11,283 to help bring this project to life.

About

Franz Nicolay "Do The Struggle" LP project video thumbnail
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$11,283

195

Hi, it's me, Franz. You may be asking yourself, "This guy's made a couple records without needing my help, why is he coming around with his digital paw out now?"

Remember when Prince got all worked up in the '90s about owning his master recordings? It's still important - and in a digital-download world, it's even the easiest way. Records still cost to make, and it's no secret that way less labels are out there with budgets for making albums in general - much less for an acquired-taste songwriter - so if I can raise the money to make the record myself, I'm getting the best of all worlds. Sometimes life makes it convenient: I paid for "Major General" mostly from a small advance on my songwriting on a Hold Steady record; and "Luck & Courage" with the money from a summer touring with Against Me. This year, there's no great "extra-credit" money on the horizon, so for those of you can kick in 10 or 20 bucks, think of it as pre-paying for an album that hopefully you'd buy in any case; but that without your help, wouldn't get made.

What kind of album? See if this stokes your curiosity: songs about a gang of conceptual terrorists who go out with a bang, songs about Leatherface singer Frankie Stubbs, a reconsideration of the slogan of my home state of New Hampshire, going to see a rockabilly legend with Dave Dondero, betrayal and revenge as explained by the fishing habits of migratory birds, and a murderer haunted by a Greek chorus of Bostonians.

And I finally wrote a song with tap-dance solo.

Watch the video for a story about the album title & a new dance sensation.

Here's roughly how album costs breaks down:

  • $5000 - Studio time ($500/day x 10 days)
  • $3000 - Producer fee ($300/day x 10 days)
  • $2500 - musician fees ($500 each for 4 band members, $100 each for strings & extra players)
  • $3000 - Print publicity ($1000/mo x 3 months)
  • $3000 - Radio promo ($1000/mo x 3 months)
  • $1000 - Video (in the age of YouTube and blog embeds)

I realize that adds up to more than $10k. There are other expenses, of course - publicity, transportation, paying rent for God's sake - but I want to get the thing made, so I'm setting the bar lower, to cover JUST the recording of the thing, and hopefully we overshoot it or I raise the rest separately.

By comparison, "Luck And Courage" cost $11,100, in more or less the same proportions. Not crazy-time, just enough to make the record efficiently and let it be heard.

PLEASE CHECK OUT THE FAQs for my answers to some frequent concerns, issues, and general squeamishness that some people have about community-sourced arts funding.

Not that you asked, I'm open to barter - so if you want anything specific that's not on the rewards list - a voicemail message, wedding proposal in song, jingle for your online graphic-design concern - email me at franz@franznicolay.com and we can strike a deal.

Cool?

You rule.

Your friend,

Franz

Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    A free digital copy of the completed album.

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    61 backers
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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    1 signed copy of the completed CD

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    63 backers
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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    1 signed copy of the CD, plus all 4 issues of my "Complicated Gardening Techniques" chapbooks, including short stories, essays on Bob Dylan and the Subhumans, tour diaries, and more.

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    24 backers
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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    The swag, plus I will personally send you postcards, twice a week, from the road on the album release tour.

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    9 backers
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    The swag, plus a thank-you mention in the album liner notes.

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    23 backers
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    1 signed copy of the CD, the chapbooks, a digital copy of all the album demos (in advance), and a custom, hand-screened T-shirt.

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    2 backers
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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $350 or more About $350

    The swag, plus I record a cover song of your choice.

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    1 backer
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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    The swag, and a private concert in your home (or location of your choice). Tour schedule or other travel arrangements TBD, obviously...

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    5 backers
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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    The swag, plus I will grow my facial hair into a design of your choice and send you a picture. (Frankly at this level of donation you can pretty much call your shot. Be kind!)

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    1 backer
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Funding period

- (30 days)